Singer Sadhana Sargam, who has been singing for films since the 1980s, says there are many young singers topping the charts and getting opportunities, but she doesn’t feel bad or insecure as she considers it a “natural process”.
Over the years, the National Film Award winner has given hits like Pehla nasha, Naina milaike, Aao na, Chupke se lag ja gale.
In the last few years, her voice has been less heard in Bollywood films. Is she being choosy or is there lack of offers?
“I have been singing for such a long time. It doesn’t mean that only I should sing. We are getting so many new singers from reality shows. Sometimes people like to try a new voice and sometimes their film’s genre goes with a new voice and young heroine. So, there are many reasons,” Sargam said.
“I am working, but mainstream publicity is happening for new singers. Shreya (Ghoshal) is such a good singer. There is no insecurity. I don’t feel bad because it is a natural process. I don’t think I am lagging behind or I am ahead of them. It’s just that there will be new singers and will be given opportunities. It is a good thing,” she added.
Does she have a favourite Bollywood singer?
“Every singer has a different quality and singing style. Arijit (Singh) has sung some really nice songs. It’s nice to listen to those songs,” she said.
Sargam went down memory lane when she recorded the title track of the popular Sony Entertainment Television show Yeh Un Dinon Ki Baat Hai, which is set in the 1990s.
“The team (composer Anu Malik and singer Kumar Sanu) that I worked with for this song, we had collaborated for a lot of films together. So, it didn’t feel like I was singing for a TV show. The song is so beautiful,” said Sargam, who had also worked with the two for Dard karaara from the 2015 film Dum Laga Ke Haisha, among other projects.
“We rehearsed with a harmonium like old times. And when we finally recorded, Kumar Sanu and I sang together. It was great,” said the singer, who has also collaborated with composers like A.R Rahman and Ilayaraja.
Is there a music trend of the 1990s that she would like to bring back?
“I understand that with time, music changes and it will continue to change after every 10 or 15 years. The 90s’ music had lyrical value. We used to understand each and every line. Now after a line or two because of loud music, it (lyrics) goes out of mind. If lyrics are good, then people will remember it for a long time,” she said.
But she isn’t completely against all the contemporary songs.
“Some of the songs are really good but not always. I just hope more good songs are made,” she said.
Sargam has sung in over 30 languages. Which one is she most comfortable with?
“Marathi is my mother tongue, so I am most comfortable with it. But I started with Hindi, so I find that comfortable too. For south Indian films, I have to work harder because I haven’t learnt the languages,” said the singer, who has performed in UK, Malaysia and more.